Opinion

Strange and sexy political tales in Washington | Bob Roegner

You’ve just got to love politics. Yes, I know the auto industry and Wall Street with their bailouts and fraud have been good fun for several months. But their entertainment value has somewhat diminished.

If you’re actually looking to be entertained, then there's no better place to look than politics.

The institution is populated by good-hearted politicians and well-meaning citizens who provide countless hours of amusement.

According to the San Juan Islands newspaper The Sounder: The county solid waste budget is so depleted that the county is introducing a campaign called “More Trash Now,” with the hope of increasing garbage generation by 300 percent to balance the budget. No recycling for these folks. Of course, the good people of San Juan County may have just been having fun with the rest of us, since the paper came out about April 1.

South Kitsap Fire and Rescue Battalion Chief Doug Richards has announced he is running for the House of Representatives. He says he is “responding to an emergency.”

New King County Assessor Lloyd Hara is scheduling meetings to explain property assessments to citizens. According to the Enumclaw newspaper, it is part of his campaign pledge to “take taxes to the people.” I could be wrong, but that may be a loose interpretation of his pledge.

Up in Oak Harbor, a woman named Michelle O’Kelley wants to open a gentlemen’s club with nude dancing. Both the city and the Island County commissioners didn’t seem to like the idea very much and responded by pushing for stricter zoning requirements. According to The Whidbey News–Times, with drug abuse and poverty issues facing Island public officials, O’Kelly questioned their priorities and said “everyone is wasting their damn time trying to keep adults clothed.” There goes the government over-regulating again.

The Bonney Lake–Sumner Courier Herald reported on a distressing sign of how the economy has really hit some people extra hard. It seems a shopper stuffed several bags of candy into her pants and left a store without paying. After she was arrested she told the police: “I have no money and I really needed some gummy worms, times are tough.” Apparently!

Attorney General Rob McKenna is in an awkward spot. He has taken a position to file papers opposing implementation of the president's health care plan. As attorney general, he also represents Gov. Christine Gregoire, who wants him to file legal documents on her behalf supporting it. So, McKenna could be in court arguing both sides of the same issue, apparently taking “talking out of both sides of your mouth” to a whole new level.

Recently, it was disclosed that the Republican National Committee approved payment of $2,000 to a lobbyist for entertainment at a sex-themed California night club, which got Chairman Michael Steele in a lot of hot water. His comment to the Southern Leadership Conference was “I’ve made mistakes.” Gosh, you think?

Some Democrats had some trouble with marijuana, but their statements were boring, so we’ll get them another time.

Lastly, right here in Federal Way, the city council (with at least three members running for mayor) budgeted $60,000 on a trip to Korea — including $50,000 for an economic development event. With all the important things going on at City Hall, somebody must have forgotten to tell the council that there’s been a bit of a recession going on, and spending that money a little closer to home might be a good thing.

That is what I love about the public arena. You can’t make this stuff up, except maybe in San Juan County.

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